FEATURES | summer 2004
Must Read List
Read any good books this summer? Add your suggestions here.
Transforming the Faith of our Fathers:
The Women Who Changed American Religion
Edited by Ann Braude
Palgrave Macmillan, $27.95
Sixteen contemporary thinkers, including Ms. co-founder Letty Cottin Pogrebin, ponder — and sometimes reinvent — modern religion and feminism in this collection of narratives.
Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities
By Alexandra Robbins
A year of undercover research on the inside of American sororities.
The Stone Fields: An Epitaph for the Living
By Courtney Angela Brkic
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24
At 23 the author joined an UN-contracted forensic team in Bosnia, near her family’s homeland; there she cataloged possessions of the dead and excavated mass graves. In this sensitive and wise memoir, Brkic questions the violent loss of life while reflecting on her own.
Unveiled: The Hidden Lives of Nuns
By Cheryl L. Reed
Berkley Books, $24.95
The author interviewed more than 300 nuns from 50 different orders across North America to answer the question, “What is the modern nun?” She finds that they are cloistered, or not; traditional or activist; and ultimately unique exemplars of feminism and loving relationships.
Journey from the Land of No
By Roya Hakakian
A stunning memoir by a former producer at CBS’ 60 Minutes. Growing up Jewish in revolutionary Iran, Hakakian’s story is poignant and compelling, and beautifully written.
Letters to My Daughters
By Mary Matalin
Simon & Schuster, $23
Republican political guru Matalin pauses to pass on her mother’s and her own wisdom to her two young daughters — lovingly discussing everything from pesky boys to accepting death.
The Mother of Dreams:
Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction
Edited by Makoto Ueda
Kodansha International, $17
Nineteen short stories by 16 contemporary Japanese authors are divided into the categories maiden, mistress, wife, mother and working woman. The stories elegantly portray and question the modern Japanese woman’s place and role in society.
Women in a World at War:
Seven Dispatches from the Front
By Madeleine Gagnon
Traveling to Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Israel and Palestine, Lebanon, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the poet/novelist Gagnon documented women’s experiences, losses, hopes, and personal accounts about war in their homelands.
On Children, Love, and the Inner Life
By Daphne de Marneffe
Little, Brown and Co., $25.95
De Marneffe articulates the sometimes complicated and rarely negotiated maternal desire women possess. She succeeds in opening an intelligent and forthright discussion on culture, gender, work, feminism and motherhood in modern times.
Birth of the Chess Queen: A History
By Marilyn Yalom
In this clever piece of herstory, Yalom uses the emergence of a chess queen in medieval Europe and Russia as a narrative thread to trace the lives of the oft-ignored, real-life queens who spread the game and inspired its most powerful piece.
Anthropology of an American Girl
By H.T. Hamann
Vernacular Press, $24.95
A cinematic and emotionally ripe debut novel. Set in the 1970s-era Eastern seaboard, the story follows the evolution of an artist from adolescent to adult in gorgeous language and with brilliant observation.